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Russia in Talks with Egypt to Lease Military Base

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Russia in Talks with Egypt to Lease Military Base

A Russian Su-24 aircaft on a runway at the Hmeimim airbase in Syria. © Maksim Blinov / Sputnik

Russia is in talks with Egypt to lease military facilities, including an air base in the town of Sidi Barrani near the Mediterranean, the Russian ‘Izvestia’ daily reported on October 10, quoting a source in the Russian Foreign ministry. If the agreement is made, the military base will be ready for use by 2019, according to the  report.

Izvestia said that the facility in Sidi Barrani will be turned into a military air base.

Citing another source that is close to the Russian Defense Ministry, the  paper noted that Moscow and Cairo have so far agreed that Russia provides the base with necessary equipment through shipping. Nonetheless, there will be limits for the number of Russian troops that can be deployed there.

The USSR had had a naval base in Sidi Barrani until 1972. It was used to monitor warships belonging to the US Navy.

Today, the Russian Defense Ministry has also announced that it is going to turn its naval facility in Syria’s Tartus into a fully-fledged permanent naval base.

Now, there are no doubts that Washington’s actions in Syria  have pushed Russia to expand its military presence in the Middle Eastern region.

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